Technique and condition

The painting was executed on a single of piece of medium weight cotton duck canvas, which is stretched around a John Jones expandable stretcher. The canvas was commercially preprimed with an acrylic gesso prior to stretching and, before the application of any paint, was squared up with pencil lines with a distance of twelve inches (350 mm) between each line. They are still visible along the top tacking margin.

The paint is an artists' quality acrylic emulsion paint and has been applied by brush. The black lines are at a significantly lower height to the main blocks of colour, which suggests that the black outlines were applied first, allowed to dry completely, then isolated with masking tape or some other stencilling technique and the block colours applied next. All of these coloured blocks have at least one other paint layer beneath them (some possibly have more), most of which are of a completely different colour to the top and final one, e.g. red background has a purple layer beneath it, green area in bucket has a red layer beneath it etc. This suggests that significant changes were made to the colour scheme for most of the areas in the painting during its execution.

The painting is in excellent condition, with no sign of cracking or discoloration in any of the colours. The only treatment required on its acquisition was the re-attachment of a small area of paint which had begun to delaminate from an underlayer. The work is displayed unframed and its exposed white tacking margins are extremely vulnerable to fingermarks.

Tom Learner
August 1997